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Underwater pings not from MH370’s black box after all

May 30, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The four acoustic pings that triggered a colossal and ongoing search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean did not come from the plane’s black boxes after all, according to latest scientific opinion.

A US Navy official told CNN in the US that the pings were no longer considered to have come from the black box.

The search, which is still continuing, is expected to cost Australia at least AUD 90 million. The Royal Australian Navy’s Bluefin-21 underwater drone costs an estimated AUD 40,000 a day to operate. No wreckage has been found.

Authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders after all, according to Michael 250x250TICBannerDean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering.

Deans says they probably came instead from some other man-made source unrelated to MH370. A ship or submarine are likely possibilities.

Dean said “yes” when asked if other countries involved in the search had reached the same conclusions, CNN reported.

On Wednesday, Australia ended the first phase of the underwater search, having finished scanning large areas around all four ping sites.

“The complexities surrounding the search cannot be understated,” Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner, Martin Dolan, said yesterday.

“It’s now been more than 11 weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from air traffic control radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing.

“Despite one of the most intensive and coordinated air and sea search efforts ever undertaken, there has not yet been any sign of the missing aircraft.

“It involves vast areas of the Indian Ocean with only limited known data and aircraft flight information. While it is impossible to determine with certainty where the aircraft may have entered the water, all the available data indicates a highly probable search area close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.

“It is now highly unlikely that surface debris from the aircraft will be spotted. This means that the most effective way to continue the search is to look for MH370 under the water.”

Written by : Peter Needham

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